Funding for Trout Pond Project (NH)
Freedom, New Hampshire, 12/29/04 – Following the announcement by US Senator Judd Gregg that the Trout Pond project will receive a $1.2 million Forest Legacy grant towards the purchase and conservation of 2,600 acres located in Freedom and Madison, NH, leaders of the effort now begin a final quest for $350,000 in private donations to complete the project.
The Trout Pond project is a collaborative effort by a number of groups, including the Trust for Public Land (TPL), the Green Mountain Conservation Group (GMCG), the Friends of Trout Pond, and the Town of Freedom. These groups are working to finalize the permanent conservation of the area, a popular fishing, hunting and recreation spot, which sits atop one of the most productive—and threatened—drinking water aquifers in the state.
Roger Krussman, TPL’s Project Manager said, “This area is rich in wildlife and has incredible scenic beauty,” he said. “Senator Gregg and the entire NH Congressional delegation have again proven their strong commitment to conservation in New Hampshire. This extraordinary partnership effort is in the final stretch, and we are seeking to raise the final amount to make this project a reality.”
The total cost of the project is $2.3 million, including land acquisition, project costs, and stewardship costs for permanently protecting the property. The $1.2 million grant from the USDA Forest Legacy Program was one of the state’s top priorities this year. New Hampshire’s Land & Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) has awarded $250,000 to the project. A local fundraising campaign has already raised $350,000 from several sources, including donations from private individuals and generous grants from the Samuel P. Hunt Foundation and the Davis Conservation Foundation, as well as a $50,000 challenge grant from an anonymous Boston-based foundation. With news of the Forest Legacy grant, the total raised to date is $1,800,000, leaving only $450,000 in donations still needed. In March 2005, the Town of Freedom will seek a $100,000 bond approval in order to fund the town’s contribution to the acquisition costs. TPL, GMCG, and the Friends of Trout Pond hope to complete a year-end private fundraising drive to raise the remaining $350,000 necessary to complete the project.
Located off the Lake Ossipee road in the towns of Freedom and Madison, the Trout Pond property is threatened with residential development if not acquired in this present effort. It represents the largest parcel of undeveloped land in Freedom and is situated over the largest stratified dirt aquifer in the state. As part of the Ossipee watershed, the property includes the 21 acre pristine Trout Pond, Jackman’s Ridge, and Mary’s Mountain. The parcel abuts the Nature Conservancy’s West Branch Pine Barrens and the Madison Town Forest, and will become a part of a block of protected land of over 5,000 acres.
In addition to protecting the extensive forestlands and drinking water, the public would also be able to access the property for recreational uses. The land has been enjoyed for hiking, hunting, cross country skiing, horseback riding, and mountain biking for years, as well as fishing and boating on Trout Pond itself.
“This is an extraordinary resource, especially with the area’s aquifer and its importance to the region’s drinking water quality,” states Blair Folts, Executive Director of the Green Mountain Conservation Group. “We have a limited opportunity now to protect this land and keep it as a treasured natural resource for area residents and visitors.”
Those wishing to make a tax deductible donation to the Trout Pond project can send contributions to the Friends of Trout Pond at P.O. Box 259, Freedom, NH 03836 or call Ed Reed at (603) 539-6520 or to the Green Mountain Conservation Group PO Box 95, Effingham, NH 03882 or call Blair Folts at (603) 539-1859. Checks may be made payable to the “Friends of Trout Pond” or “Green Mountain Conservation Group”, with “Trout Pond project” on the memo line.
A local group of people formed the Friends of Trout Pond when they saw a chance to protect a large piece of land that was planned for large-scale housing development. The mission of the Friends of Trout Pond is to facilitate he procurement of the Trout Pond property for the purpose of preserving open space in the town of Freedom and Madison, New Hampshire.
The Green Mountain Conservation Group (GMCG) is a non-profit, charitable organization established in 1997 and dedicated to the preservation of the natural resources in the Ossipee Watershed. Through education and advocacy we strive to promote an awareness and appreciation of our natural resources and encourage a commitment to protect them. For more information, visit www.gmcg.org
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 1.9 million acres of land in 46 states, including more than 230,000 acres in New Hampshire. TPL depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve our land for people mission. For more information, visit www.tpl.org/newhampshire.
Note to editors: digital photos and maps of the Trout Pond project area are available from Kim Gilman at TPL, 617-367-6200 ext. 326, or email@example.com.